Friday, February 27, 2009

Whale Shark Photos!

In 2006, I traveled solo through Mozambique, and stayed for a while at a place called Tofo. Aside from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, this was the best SCUBA diving experience I've ever had.

Also in Tofo (a backpacker hostel haven), they had an excursion to see Whale Sharks, which were migrating through at the time. There isn't much known about the whale shark--it is a solitary, slow swimming creature. They know zero about its mating habits, or even where it finishes migrating. How can you help but feel love for the lonely whale shark?

The idea of the excursion was: a small boat would go out and look for a dark shape in the water. Once found * if found * we would slink into the water and snorkel around it. Of course, there was a good possibility the boat would not find a "dark shape" in the water, and the excursion would be a waste of money.

I was lucky.

Our guide spotted one off the bow and the three girls in the boat started to freak out. Now the Whale Shark is completely harmless. They are filter feeders, and don't even have teeth. But get a load of this creature. They are gigantic. And the shape is exactly the same as JAWS. The three girls were so petrified they refused to enter the water with it. The thing is that scary looking.

I got in with a Norwegian, who happened to have an underwater camera. He sent these pics of me with the shark. I swam alongside him as long as I could. At one point, I was pretty sure he winked at me. Hi buddy!

I'm doing an Egyptian pose to avoid touching it, and thus scaring it into swimming faster.
You can get an idea of its size, compared to me. I was told this specimen was on the smaller end of the size scale.

It swam, or more like lumbered along. Again, holding my leg to avoid bumping into him.
At one point, I took a deep breathe through the snorkel and dove underneath the whale shark. I looked up, and above me was this gigantic prehistoric leviathan shape.

It was one of the most awe-struck, magical moments of my life.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Favorite Morning Beyatch!

You may remember Allison Lane from her role as Trisha in A Four Letter Word. Before on this blog I featured a video she created as the adult movie voice-over artist, but this girl keeps on coming! She produces a mock morning show on Youtube, and here's her latest installment: an irreverent take on the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Margaret Needs a new Guru?

My friend Margaret works at a bank (so far no fear of layoffs), and relates this story about her "business best friend". It's someone she's never even met, but he lives in Chicago and his name is Ray. Apparently she negotiated some great meeting for him with her boss. As a thank you....Ray sends her a box of fudge from Chicago.

The fudge is horrible.

Now here's where things get complicated for Margaret. Apparently, she has a guru. Now I'm not sure who this person is. Knowing Margaret, it could be someone who spent time in an Ashram. The guru could also be her boyfriend. But Margaret claims her guru says "honesty is the best policy when it comes to gifts".

Guru declares: One must never say one liked it, if one did not.

So after a bit of soul-searching, Margaret decides to be truthful with Ray. When he asks, she will tell him the fudge was horrible.

After a while, Ray calls. He asks about the fudge.

Margaret says it was the worst fudge she ever had in her life, but his thoughtfulness was wonderful. The packaging was so pretty, it even smelled great! But the fudge itself? Really very waxy.

Margaret and Ray share a nervous little laugh.

They talk some business, and in the process Ray tells Margaret that his 84 year old mother was not feeling so well the week previous, and she died. He had to go to Dallas to bring her body back to Chicago and bury her. It was so unexpected.

Then, Ray tells Margaret that he wasn't feeling so well himself this week...so he went to the doctor who told him he must have one of his kidneys removed. Immediately.

And the whole time Margaret is thinking:

What?! I couldn't have told him the fudge was fantastic???


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crazy 911

Crazy Dan has been on disability for a couple weeks, unable to walk very well after (we think) he slipped a disc and pinched his sciatic nerve. He wasn't able to see a "spine specialist" until two weeks from now (!) so he was holding out. But yesterday he was much worse. I went over and found him on the floor of his apartment, on his back. His leg was paralyzed and in terrible pain. He couldn't stand or walk. As he rolled around on the floor, he never lost his sense of humor, telling me. "This is God's punishment for me for gaining weight!!!"

Somehow we dragged/pulled him down out of his 5th floor walk-up and into a taxi to the ER.

A quick mention about emergency room-waiting rooms in New York City winter: They are the number one destination for the homeless and the nodding-out heroin addicts. It's warm in there! So in between the drugged out and homeless is Crazy and me and Crazy is in such bad shape he again is laying on the floor, pulling on his knee, fidgeting to try and escape the pain.

It's really hard to watch your friend in pain so I began fidgeting, too, in sympathy. As he's writhing around, a nurse comes out to call someone else in...looks over at us and quips, bitterly. "Sir, what are you doing on the floor??!" "Dying!" shoots back Crazy.

Minutes later, another nurse comes out to yet again call someone else inside, and she too looks over at Crazy and says, without one shred of compassion. "Sir, you need to get off the floor!" and it's hard to imagine that these women, at one point, got into nursing because they wanted to help people. But this time Crazy yells back, "Sir...you can't die in that position! Please DIE seated!"

We were called in next.

You definitely never want to be inside an emergency room in New York City. If you are going to have an emergency, it should be in a smaller community with space. I'm not sure why anyone is scared government will take over health care. How could the government do any worse than this? I don't have health insurance and if I slipped a disc I don't know what the hell I would do except hope to be crushed by a midtown Bus and end it all.

Because picture this. Inside the over-crowded bowels of the emergency room, there are dying people, a man talking about his open lesions, vomiting, beds everywhere, cups of urine, chaos, needles, one old lady being slowly walked around in a diaper. New York City's Beth Israel emergency room, mid-day, is part morgue, part slums of Mumbai.

The worst is, I stayed with crazy for two hours before he got anything for the pain! He was just put in a bed and told to wait. Every so often, I'd approach a nurse or a PA or whoever and ask, "Can someone see my friend, or at least give him something for the pain?" and they'd respond, "He's in the computer." At last, one doctor, rushing past, answers "Mondays are the busiest day at the hospital." Only partially joking, he adds. "Next time, tell him to tough it out 'til Tuesday."

We later visited Crazy in the hospital (living with Jesse #6, below) where he was transferred to an actual room and got to spend the night. So you see, he deserved that smuggled cocktail! Gawd.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Living With Jesse #6

Jesse's friend Crazy Dan slips a disc and relaxes in hospital. Jesse smuggles him a medicinal elixir of vodka cranberry. Heard from Crazy Dan (already high on morphine): "Nurse! More ice, please!"

Don't Weave Home Without It!

I usually don't post stuff like this, but I can't resist. Turns out HAIR WEAVES are now saving lives. In Kansas, a woman's weave stops a bullet from entering her head. "I invested a lot of money into this weave," she says. Money well spent. Wig out!

We Got Milk!

Thanks to friends Chad & Scott for hosting an Oscar Party last night. Thanks also to my genius taxi driver, who said his credit card machine wasn't working because once I said, "What if we pay the tip in cash?" he agreed that his credit card machine was suddenly working.

But mostly thanks to Dustin Lance Black and Sean Penn for their Oscar speeches. I'm so glad my winner predictions were wrong! Oscars reach such a gigantic worldwide audience, and I'm so glad it wasn't me giving the speech below, because I wouldn't have been able to get through it without breaking up entirely.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Boot Scoot Boogie

Dosey-Do! Went country line-dancing last night at the Big Apple Ranch with Bam Bam and Anita Private. Highly recommended! Unlike my very bad experience at Remingtons country- western bar in DC, people here in Chelsea were friendly. One hot pro named Shawn picked me from the sidelines and tried to help me learn the two-step, offering excellent tips like, "Press your dick against my thigh!" But the real pick-up line came from another gentleman who says to me, after watching my amateur attempts, "How long have you been doing this?!" as if he were impressed. Ha! Too, too kind.

The two-step looks easy. It even sounds easy. But still, Bam Bam and I were a bumbling mess around the dance floor as we tried, pathetically, to implement the "Quick, quick, slow, slow" pattern. Anita Private just sat on the sidelines drinking. Each time we'd stumble past her, she'd yell out to heckle us, "Like a pair of gazelles!!!"

Or the very astute and highly humiliating, "This is better than cable!!!"

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Oscar Predictions?

Oscars are tomorrow! For some reason my favorite part is always the tribute to actor's who died. There are always shocks and surprises and sadness. There's Heath Ledger and Paul Newman, but when you see Cyd Charisse in that tribute please think of me. I will be bawling!

But back to the living. Let's talk about 2008's Best Picture.

Benjamin Button: Loved the concept. I loved also what it had to say about life and love. It did have it's problems, particularly a cheezy montage when they were jumping around on a mattress basically just to show, "It's the sock-hop, therefore we're now in the 1950's!" and they never DID explain why in the world he couldn't afford a BED, when he had just sold his father's mansion?

My favorite part was when he came back young and sexed up and she was an aged teacher. She took him home for some slam bam cougar action, and you know she was thinking, Oh honey, I remember how to do this!!!

Milk: I know this is sacrilege, but was anyone else not blown away by Milk? I'm definitely not one of those gays that overly criticize every gay film (um, duh!), and I did cry about 3 times during this film. But I just felt there were way too many characters thrown in there (for historical accuracy), and too much inconsequential plot. Like Harvey's second boyfriend. Why was he in there? So he killed himself and it was really cinematic, but how did that push the plot forward? My favorite part about this film was that it got made at all. And what timing.

The Reader: haven't seen it.

Frost/Nixon: Couldn't pay me to see it.

Slumdog Millionaire: Like Benjamin Button, I loved the concept here. Really, it was genius. Same goes for the fabulous Bollywood musical end credits. But I didn't believe the love story for one second, and maybe that's just because she is a supermodel and he's ugly? Am I that superficial? Probably. I also thought some parts were overly melodramatic and why did they have so many actors playing the different ages that didn't look the same at all. There were also some nitpicky things which I always notice, in films and in life. For example, they showed some American dollars, $20 bills, and in the script this was like maybe 1990. But they were using the new bills. The ones that came out about 5 years ago. Um, hello? Props man? You took me out of the story!

My pick: Benjamin Button.

As for actress, I really loved Changeling, and my favorite superhero Angelina Jolie. I haven't seen the Reader, but since I really loved Revolutionary Road...I think it's Kate Winslet's year.

As for actor, I thought Sean Penn was excellent (hot-damn, he needs to moisturize!) but have you seen the Wrestler? Between the meat slicer incident and the ringside body staple-gunning, the whole movie was like watching someone inject heroin into a giant bloody gaping wound. That's entertainment! Mickey Rourke for best actor.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Little Furry Roommate

There's a mouse living somewhere in my kitchen (behind the stove?) I'm not sure. The first time I saw him, last summer, I screamed like a banshee. I told the exterminator and he gave me a chunk of glue traps, but I used one of those back in college housing. My roommate at the time, Rich, was socially awkward with women and excitedly suggested we construct a giant glue trap, to catch women. Last I heard, Rich was not in jail.

When our glue trap did catch a mouse, it just stuck there-alive-screaming its brains out. I had to throw it away like that. I'll never be able to use a glue trap again.

My new mouse is still around. In the intervening months, I've seen its droppings inside a box of saltines, and sometimes late at night I see it scurry across the stove. Once it even appeared at a party. Where I used to scream, now I smile. It's something of a comfort. Hi Mouse!

My friends think this reaction is disturbing. I'm starting to agree with them because last night I purposely left a little piece of granola out on the counter.

It was gone in the morning.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Whacky NYC Weekend Update

From low life to high life and all on the gilded cobblestones of the meat packing district. What a weekend!

On Valentine's Day, promoter Daniel Nardicio held his annual "Nardi Gras" party at a loft in that triangle building over on 9th avenue. It was packed to the gills with go-gos, mad men, and a brass band was contracted to march through the middle of the party blaring tunes from New Orleans inspired jazz. Nice trombone! Soon, sirens were heard, the place was raided and everyone was kicked out like something out of a 1920's speakeasy. On my way out, I asked one NYPD blue, "What seems to be the problem, officer?" and she responded, "Where should I begin?"

9 summonses, 15 hours, and one block further west, the doors opened for the grand opening of the Matthew Williamson boutique right at Fashion Week. The garments are gorgeous, the accessories sparkling, and the store divine---I was told by its designer that the layout was supposed to feel like a "journey". Oh, honey, I took that journey on a river of pink champagne!

The fashion crowd always puts me a bit on edge, so I was glad when the celebrities arrived so I could blend away into the hand-painted wallpaper. Mischa Barton, Rachel Zoe, Heidi Klum, and Lindsay Lohan (who was flown out from LA --and then bailed on his Tuesday show!). All but the last soon left because Matthew Williamson kept hanging on to old Lindsay who, for her part, looked amazing (if way older than 23).

"She's so skinny" screeched one plus-sized queen, "It reminds me of looking into the mirror!"

And she was...bone thin. Sad to say, it was a good look! Lindsay tried to enjoy herself when she wasn't hiding in the bathroom or being chased around the store by a circus of photographers. One poor PR girl was given the thankless task of having to "shadow" Lindsay while holding her purse and bringin her champagne. Hey! Lindsay's not supposed to be drinking, is she? And we all (and I do mean all) knew what kind of powder was in that purse!!!

Here's a not so flattering shot I took. Much better ones to be found online!
More shocking---why do we know this? And why, oh why!, can I name every last one of Angelina Jolie's children? Couldn't that brain-space be filled with something more useful? Maybe if we collectively refused to know any of this, these people would be able to exist as people. It was both sad and scary to see Lindsay Lohan race around, fiending, trapped like a caged animal.
You never want to be this famous.

You may, however, want to be this elderly-- after you meet Zelda Kaplan. She's New York City's high living, style-minded 92 year old club kid.
Zelda Kaplan (below left) is 92 years old, and wearing 4 inch heels!
When she's not behind velvet ropes, or at the latest opening, Zelda's globetrotting to raise awareness on womens rights and to stop female genital mutilation. Bam Bam complimented her outfit--and Zelda said she got it in Burma. Then she went on about how she crossed the border into Burma illegally with some monks, militant monks, and that they were very good to her. Bam asks, "When was this?" and we thought she said, "40 years ago," but what she really said was "4 years ago," and everyone within earshot nearly dropped their champagne flutes.

Absolutely taken with Zelda, I blurted "I want to be you when I grow up!" and Zelda squeezed my arm and said, "I am counting on you." After looking her up, discovering her efforts overseas, and then finding this website, old age suddenly has fabulous appeal!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Sun on a Stem

The daffodils are here! They're brightness has come to the flower shops and delis and although they may not smell, are not very hearty and don't last long at all, daffodils are my favorite flower.

So unique! So bright! So brief! They only come around for a month or so each year, but when they first appear in New York City in early february, they are a beautiful and sunny reminder that Spring is just around the corner.

Spring costs more this year! Where daffodils used to sell 2 bunches for $5, it's now 2 bunches for $10. Are sourcing fees hitting the floral market?!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It can't hurt to ask!

Many of you know I wrote a travel memoir "You Can Run" from my adventures in South America. You can still find it online for about $15, but I just found one copy for sale on Amazon for $238 Um. Is it printed on truffles and dipped in gold?

Times are tough in this economy and sellers, I guess, are just trying to avoid the breadlines! I know I'm really proud of the book, and this copy is hardback, but really it shouldn't cost more than $20 (get a signed paperback for $15 here) and I'm not sure why it ever does? But it appears most of that sum is a "sourcing fee". Let me just make it clear that if you can pay that kind of cash to source my book---please let me source it for you.

Heck, I'll write you a whole new chapter!

Burning Man Video 2008

I always wanted to be a travel host!! While I was at Burning Man, I shot lots of footage and the incredible folks at OursceneTV edited it into the piece below: "Sex, Drugs, and Mutant Vehicles".

Watch it, and while you're at it---check out OursceneTV. It's a really fantastic new LGBT life/style channel on the web.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Living With Jesse #5

A typical Sunday morning with Jesse: obligatory Mimosa in one hand, hangover in the other.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Coax Me, Congress!

Happy Valentine's Day! Everyone loves a good VD!!!

But back to serious, just in time for Valentine's Day congressman Jerrold Nadler re-introduced the "Uniting Families Act". If passed, this legislation would allow gays and lesbians who have foreign partners (comme moi) to be able to sponsor them for legal residency in the USA.

How many couples have been torn apart because their gender isn't a match for immigration law? Introducing the act, rep Nadler said "“In 2009, we should be ready as a society to acknowledge that stable American families come in all varieties."

If it passes, this would chip away at the whole DOMA thing---leave all the pomp and ceremony of "weddings" to the religious churches---and grant us (one by one) the legal rights associated with marriage. The passage of this bill would also stop so many foreigners (you know who you are!) from having to marry girls simply to stay with their boyfriends in this country.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shameless Promotions!

I was recently on a radio show in Brattleboro, Vermont. "This show is so gay" with Ken and Becca---click the link to listen to the podcast where we talk hate mail, straight invasions, and dead ducks. In fairness, it wasn't me who accidentally ran over that duck. I was only a passenger, but clearly I inherited the guilt.

For Chicago Pride, Jason Freeman interviewed gay notables such as the fabulous Michael Musto about how to keep your romance sizzling on Valentine's day. I made it at the bottom of the page in a rare mood. I suggested anti-romance and getting together to sniff poppers. In truth, I said poppers and champagne enemas. But they left that part out.

Also, my latest OUT column, Sex, Lies, and Spinach is up online. There's no comments online yet, so feel free to leave one. That doesn't mean I haven 't gotten a lot of reader comments via email. Some thought the column important, others offered suggestions on the evolutionary origins of belief, and a few gave me the always-anonymous hate-mail.

Yes, some people really think there is a cure for AIDS, that it doesn't exist, and that the earth is flat!

Getting it On!

I love this Durex condom commercial. You know this can't be playing in the US!!!


All that squeakiness makes me wonder if it isn't also a commercial for lube? I was waiting for one of em to pop! I guess they don't call it Durex for nothing.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today--in History

How about this double whammy bi-centennial birthday? Today is February 12th. Both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin were born on this very day, exactly 200 years ago!

Check out their respective (Lincoln, and Darwin) bicentennial celebrations across the nation. Not only that-- in a twist of irony that underscores the need for more men and women of progressive thought and action, February 12 is not only the 200th birthday of Lincoln and Darwin, but the 1st anniversary of the classroom killing of 15 year old Lawrence King for being gay.

200 years later, Lincoln's United States are still together but the roiling rage of a brother vs. brother divide persists. And Darwin's theory of evolution still has a long, long way to crawl.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Out of Control-Top Hose

The other night I met up with 4 different Dans at a the new Alphabet City dance den, the Hose.
I thought it was called Hose--as in Panty. Or maybe Control-Top. But it's actually just the garden variety.

I know this because the next morning I awoke, fully dressed, wrapped in a long length of garden hose. So you know it was a good night!

What I remember is: Crazy Dan, completely in the fog, on all fours screaming "I lost my wallet!" (he found it), and a vague memory of bending over volunteers on the dance floor to whip them with a length of hose I'd pulled from the ceiling.

In text messages the following day, the Dans offered up some clarification.

PlayDan: "You were exploring your inner-dominatrix."
Daniel: "You were a real crazy-maker!"
CoolDan: "You'd whipp people and then run over to tell me, I've finally found my calling."
Crazy Dan: "My ass hurts."

I've finally found my calling? Phew! PlayDan went on to tell me that I was also determined to catch his cold, and pass it around to everyone. "Was I making out with you and everyone else?" I ask. "Not kissing people," he texts. "More like imitating a lizard, catching flies with its tongue."

Now that must've been pretty sight.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Live and Let Live

I have one Mormon cousin named Richard. He lives in Seattle with his family. He's always been one of my favorite cousins. Just before last November's election, I wrote him a very respectful (and uncharacteristically restrained) letter asking about his involvement in the Mormon's multi-million dollar mobilized movement to pass Prop 8.

I asked because I wanted to know if he was a part of it.

I wrote that if a group of my peers ever dredged up enough hate and misunderstanding to vote away the rights of Mormons, I would in no way be involved. I said my hope would be to tell him I spoke out against it.

Richard never wrote back.

So when I received a christmas card from his parents, I wrote back---and made sure to ask them to tell their son to please respond to my letter---that it was an issue important to me---that I would appreciate some kind of reply.

This week, Richard's parents wrote back to me. It was very gracious. They said they called Richard and discovered the nature of my letter. They wrote that they accept me and the way I live. They also wrote they accept their son (they're not Mormon) and that Richard would not be writing me because he can't adequately describe to me in a letter his faith, or why he chose it.

I will not get the small courtesy of a reply. I'm being ignored. And that pisses me off.

Family, it appears, is often just a random assembly of people who share blood and meals and then go behind closed doors to conspire against one another.

Richard's parents ended with a plea for me not to please not "create a division in the family" and to remember the old adage: "Live and let live". Oh, the resulting/insulting irony. Yes, I know the maxim well. Does their son?

This is so ON.

I don't care why he chose his faith. I long ago stopped trying to reason with religion. If he is under the impression that he's going to survive the death of his brain and inherit a planet, well terrific! I have no such plans. This planet is all I've got. I don't care how he came to his faith, I care about actions and what is fair. I care about "Live and let Live".

How can this issue possibly affect my cousin? I wrote to ask. It's amazing to me how religious people can actively, brazenly remove other people's civil rights, and then when the questions and backlash arise, they run and hide behind that sacred veil of "Don't question my faith!" as if they're the ones who've been victimized.

What would you do? I'm not sure where to go from here. They want me to drop it. I'm not dropping it. They don't think it matters, but it matters to me.

And that's enough.

If equality matters to you, keep up the fight. Check out this video below. Then go here to the courage campaign and sign this pledge to repeal prop 8. You don't have to be from California.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Snowboarding on the East River?!

This weekend Red Bull and the Parks Department set up a ten story snow-hill! This thing was gigantic. First they'd fly down the slope, then jump a big span and land down the side of the second set-up. Some of the hottest snowboarders came from around the country, including Shaun White, to compete in the jump. Check out video of the competition here.

Look really close to spot a snowboarder, mid-air, just to the left of the triangle.
The East River has seen a lot of action lately. Remember last summer, when I blogged about the man who made love to the digger? Definitely got to hand it to the folks at the New York Parks Department for putting on yet another totally random smash.

The area is undergoing a lot of changes. In the photo below, cranes are slowly (it's been over 3 years already!) rebuilding the condemned East River boardwalk. Also notice the presence of SUV strollers. Gentrification has wheeled itself into new territory. Current East River project-housing dwellers: beware.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Living with Jesse #4

I asked Jesse to make me a Sunday night cocktail. There weren't any mixers. The corner store is 15 feet from our apartment. He spontaneously invents a "chocotini" from Nesquik he found at the back of the kitchen cupboard.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I'm in their DNA

When I was down in Australia last month, I was excited to see I was appearing once again inside the pages of sexy Australian mens' mag DNA.

The interviewer was my friend Matthew Philp, so I kind of let down my guard. It's a little bit revealing. Like why do I need to mention that about my family or gush on about Bam? Anyway, I meant every word.

Here's the feature. Click to make bigger.


Friday, February 06, 2009

Ride this Roller Coaster

My editor at Gay List Daily often sends me things I should check out. The other day, a publicist sent him a CD of openly gay singer Matt Alber, and an accompanying video for his latest single, "End of the World". My editor wrote, "Check out this video. It almost melted my frozen heart."

Mine, too!

Wow. I think this is the first romantic gay video I've ever seen. For someone who grew up seeing romance as only a thing between heterosexuals---and mainly something occuring between just Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan---it's so amazing to finally identify.

Check this video out. I dare you not to watch it twice.


You can get Matt Alber's CD here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

But You can't Hide!

This should be an interesting post for those of you who read (and remember!) my book, You Can Run! You'll finally be able to put several faces to the names on the page.

Set loose upon Buenos Aires. Here we go again, boys!
Walter, in splendor. "I'm gonna do my Anna Nicole Smith pose," he tells me, lying in the grass. When he sees the result of the photo, he says "Carajo! I look like Anna Nicole now."

Walter hangs out at the pool of the Axel Hotel with the boys: Lair, James, and John.
Back, in You Can Run---I dragged Walter and his Gucci through the gutters of Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. Here's a pic of us, from early 2000, at Iguazu Falls.
And another from that red lake, near Uyuni, Bolivia. Just after having left Santusa--the fanged Chola of a different color...
Back in Buenos Aires, 2009---and the only picture that will ever exist of my two exes---Gabriel in the middle, Walter on the right, and Gabriel's now boyfriend Emanuel at left. Pay attention, Walter. Papparrazzi don't sleep!
Amerika: one of the last great big dance spaces in Buenos Aires. Most all the other big ones I went to back in the day have closed. So you see, the crash of the big dance space is global.
In place of the big dance space, the small venue remains. Drag queens, I've mentioned before, flourish outside the United States. Transsexuals, too. You have never seen such beautiful transsexuals as you do in Buenos Aires.

Below's a place called "Kilometro Zero", where I witnessed the ultimate tristesse: a drag queen performing for an empty house! And you thought Tango was depressing!

The audience returned from the bar when she introduced the boys, of course. But how can I notice the boys when she is giving me Miss America leg? Oh yes, she was raised right-- don't ever, ever forget the beveled toe. She is absolutely killing me!!!

My American friend Thomas lived in Buenos Aires while I did. Can't say that I'm not a bit jealous he's back living in that city--- and with his adorable, much younger boyfriend Vagner.

Here is my former roommate Sergio. In the book, I write about his alter-ego, the bearded drag queen (and ab-crunching creator of her own imaginary institute) once known as Zorba Bottoms.
My ex Gabriel, and his now boyfriend Emanuel. Aren't those the names of two angels? Fallen angels are much sexier!
I wrote about Gabriel in the book--we were together when he got me the job waiting tables on the Rio de la Plata. At the time, we were both sick with jealous exes, so it didn't exactly work out. Gabriel recalls, "Remember when we were both beat up by our boyfriends? How funny!!! "

Yeah, funny now!
And just because no discussion of You Can Run would be complete without its main character, here is Zane and I in Torres del Paine, Chile. At the end of our relationship, at the beginning of our journey.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Tango of Skinnydipping

Oh, the glories of the gay Axel hotel in Buenos Aires! Let us count thy ways.

There are two pools. One outside.
On Sundays, they have an outdoor party with a DJ and local Porteno boys can come swimming. We couldn't stop ogling this guy here below, with the body. Mich Lyon wanted to offer him 500 pesos, for a striptease in his room. He made Walter go ask the guy. Walter was so nervous, he said even his sunglasses were sweating.

Walter he eventually did go propose the guy, who respectfully declined. "I'm with my boyfriend today, but tomorrow....es otra cosa." Sadly, tomorrow...they checked out.

Then there's the indoor pool. It's on the top floor, so as you're heading up the stairs you can look up and see who's swimming. Vetruvian men?
I can't tell you the creepy terror when you dive into that pool, thinking you may crash through and tumble ten stories to your death. Kind of like Sharon Stone did, in Sliver.

They also kept it really really hot, and they told people to keep their clothes on. But you can't always keep a good gay down. Or maybe you can't keep him from going down. Here are two unidentified hotel guests, from below.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Disfrutando de la carne Argentina!

In Argentina, it was a little hard to keep on the diet. They've got great food---empanadas, provoletas, suprema de pollo, and of course Argentina is known for its meat!!!

They especially love the parilla, which is a bbq overflowing with various bovine guts. They just love selecting from this cornocopia. There's the bloodball morcilla, the neck gland molleja, the squiggly intestinal chinchulin. I went out to dinner one night with friends at the normal hour, 11 pm, and they ordered a new slice of guts I'd never tried before.

mystery cow innards, dark blobs on silver tray at right

I can't remember the name but I asked Gabriel (above, left) which part of the cow it came from. "A sack," he told me in spanish, "Near the ribs". Ewwww!!! I kept insisting I was vegetarian, to which Gabriel kept looking at me like I was misbehaving. It tasted a little like grilled eggplant.